Tennis

Simona Halep Surges Into 9th Major Semifinal at Wimbledon

Simona Halep will face Elena Rybakina in Thursday’s Wimbledon semifinal as she bids for a second trip to the final. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

A Centre Court quarterfinal is a territorial test.

Commanding the center of the court, Simona Halep ruled the lawn with precision sweeping Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-4 to advance to her ninth career Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon.

The 30-year-old Halep has transformed the Centre Court lawn into her own revival ground.

Playing what she called her best tennis since she shocked Serena Williams in a near flawless 2019 Wimbledon final, Halep is right back where she wants to be.

It is Halep’s 12th consecutive Wimbledon win sending the 2019 champion into her second straight SW19 semifinal where she will play Elena Rybakina.

The 17th-seeded Rybakina rallied past Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach her maiden major semifinal. Rybakina ripped 15 aces in a one hour, 51-minute triumph.

“It’s great to be back in semifinals,” Halep said in her on-court interview afterward. “I’m very emotional right now. It means a lot to be back in the semis.

“I played a tough opponent today. She could crush the ball in the end. I didn’t know actually what to do. I just believed in myself I said I had to stay strong in my legs they helped me today And I believed till the end that I can win.”

The 16th-seeded Romanian is the lone former champion still standing in the field and has not surrendered a set en route to the semifinals solidifying her status as the favorite to raise the Rosewater Dish.

Make that 12 wins in a row at Wimbledon for @Simona_Halep

The Romanian is yet to drop a set at this year’s Championships#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100 pic.twitter.com/brBHQUk95i

— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 6, 2022

Oppressive court coverage and unerring ball-striking from Halep shrunk open space for Anisimova. The American tried squeezing shots closer to the lines but was misfiring more frequently.

Halep soared through four straight games scoring her second break in a row when Anisimova netted a drop shot.

The Romanian rolled through a love hold—her second love hold in three service games—stretching her second-set lead to 5-1.

The 20-year-old Anisimova held ending another five-game slide. Swinging more freely, Anisimova flashed a forehand return winner down the line for triple break point in the next game. A backhand bolt down the line gave Anisimova control of the rally and she never relinquished it breaking back for 3-5.

Landing her flat strikes more frequently, Anisimova held taking her third game in a row to put the pressure on Halep to serve it out again.

Anisimova dislodged chalk off the baseline with a biting return and curled a crosscourt winner for triple break point in the ninth game.

The two-time Grand Slam champion saved the first two then defended a couple of deep drives coaxing a netted error to erase the third. Halep hammered a 113 mph serve down the T for match point.

When Anisimova spayed a backhand down the line, Halep thrust her arms to the sky in an expression of elation and relief.



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